Principle of Negligence in Nursing

If you are nursing students then you should aware about the term negligence and its consequences. Nursing from the nurse can lead to serious injury or even death of the patient. In case you are asked to write an essay on negligence in nursing and you are not aware of the concept then you can contact us. Our nursing assignment writers will help you in writing the best assignments or you can also use the below sample for writing an essay on negligence in nursing.

Principle of Negligence in Nursing

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Negligence is a failure to take reasonable care for preventing loss or injury to another person. Nursing negligence takes place when a nurse who has the potential of caring does not deliver care. The outcome of negligence is that patient has to suffer losses or injury. An allegation of the negligence on healthcare professional can have a negative effect on their career. In this essay, we will provide you with a brief overview of negligence in nursing concept. There will also much emphasize on addressing strategies for avoiding negligence as a nurse. There are many cases in Australia where nurses lose license due to negligence.

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Main body

Negligence in nursing is practising beyond standards of care for a specific speciality. The six things which are basically considered as nursing negligence are:

  1. Failure to comply with basic standards of care.
  2. Not utilizing Equipment in a responsible way.
  3. Lack of communication
  4. Failure to Document
  5. Not assessing and monitoring the patient.
  6. Not acting as Person Advocate.

Elements of negligence in nursing

The 5 essential elements for proving the negligence are:

  • Duty

The plaintiff need to prove that the medical professional owed them which are referring to as “duty of care”.In simple words,the service provider should have a legal obligation towards the plaintiff.

  • Breach

Here, the plaintiff needs to prove or provide evidence that the service provider has breached the duty of care. They need to prove that medical professional or nurse has failed to fulfil their duty according to reasonable standards. It is also referred to as” Departure”.

  • Causation

Plaintiff for making claim needs to prove that they have suffered an injury because of breach of duty by a nurse. In simple words, the plaintiff needs to prove that they have suffered loss or damages due to nursing staff breach of duty departure from basic accepted standards of practice.

  • Harm

The plaintiff needs to showcase actual damages.

  • Foresee ability

Plaintiff for making claim need to prove that reasonable person of ordinary intelligence (on the basis of the practice authority of the provider) in the similar situation as the provider would be able to predict the harmful consequences of the action or inaction.

It’s important to note that patient injury doesn’t automatically mean that there was substandard care. There are many different factors which can have an adverse effect on health. According to the International Journal of Medicine, the maximum number of patients’ injuries actually takes place as a result of the inherent risk of nursing or medical practice.

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Example of negligence

Below are two examples showcasing what can constitute negligence?

Case study 1

A family member of a deceased nursing home patient issue for negligence when a patient has able to showcase ulcers as an outcome of not being repositioned according to policy.  As well as a urinary infection as a direct result of not having his catheter properly cared for.

Case study 2

A person suffering from bronchial infection is facing health issues. Daughter of patient filed a lawsuit against her mother. The lawsuit supposed both negligence and malpractice. The suit claimed that performing a non-emergency surgery while the patient had a respiratory infection was negligent. And failing to note the patient’s sleep apnea, which was not in her paperwork from the surgical team when she was transferred out of surgery, was malpractice.

How to avoid negligence in nursing?

Medical professional for avoiding the allegation of negligence these strategies are:

Maintenance of expertise

Medical professionals can achieve their objectives through strategies like continuing educational courses, taking active membership and having subscription of professional journals which will assist nurses in maintaining their leading position in the industry.

Compliance with Organizational policies

You as a nurse should first develop an understanding of the organizational process, Quality standards etc. Avoid using shortcut as it could have an adverse influence on your performance at the workplace.

Improve communication skills

As a nurse, it is very much essential for you to develop or enhance your communication skills. It is effective communication skills which will aid you in eliminating misunderstandings.

Document important information

Nurses can do documentation of important information in the easiest way. It is documentation of information which will assist in eliminating medical errors. Therefore, all nurses should prepare a chart of their actions such as assessments, diagnosis and interventions. It is a chart which will enable you to reconstruct the correct sequence of events. Documentation of events could help you in enhancing Patient intervention in the future.


The conclusion drawn from the above is that negligence can have long term and adverse effect on nurse career. Following the standards is the best way to avoid chances of negligence.

Another fact which has been found is that nurses should understand their principles of duty and recognize their obligations. They should also understand the rights of others. It is unethical in medical practice to deliver substandard care.

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